Sechter, Simon



Bohemian composer, organist and teacher of counterpoint. He was .born at Friedberg, and studied first with Johannes Maxandt in his native town, then at Vienna from 1804 with Kotzeluch and Hartmann. Sechter was considered one of the leading contrapuntists of the Nineteenth Century; was an untiring worker, especially in the realm of church-music, and was the instructor of many musicians who afterward became famous. No day passed, it is said, without Sechter's writing a fugue, and a great many of his compositions are now in the Imperial Library and the Musikverein at Vienna. Sechter became musicmaster in the Institute for the Blind in 1810, where he composed and gave concerts with his pupils. While holding that post he wrote several songs and two masses. He was attached to the Imperial Chapel through the influence of Stadler, who caused three of Sechter's masses to be performed at the Court Chapel; was Court organist in 1824, and professor of composition and harmony in the Vienna Conservatory in 1850. His works consist of books of fugues; hymns; masses; graduals; offertories; oratorios; cantatas; string quartets; and operas, including a burlesque opera, AH Hitsch-Hatsch, produced in 1844; and other works. Many of these works remained unpublished. Emperor Napoleon conferred upon him a gold medal for the grand mass which Sechter dedicated to him. Sechter's greatest work was a theoretical treatise in three volumes, Grundsatze der musik, issued in 1852 to 1854. He was devoted to the works of Bach and Mozart, and in addition to his other work completed the great fugue for the orchestra in D major, left imperfect by Mozart. He also issued a new edition of Marpurg's Abhandlung von der Fuge.